Education of nomadic children under threat

Under s444 of the Education Act 1996 economically nomadic families can defend themselves against a prosecution for their children’s non-attendance in school by showing:

  • they are engaged in a trade of business of such a nature that requires them to travel from place to place;
  • the child has attended at a school as a registered pupil as regularly as the nature of that trade permits; and
  • any child aged six or over has attended school for at least 200 half day sessions during the preceding year.

In April last year the Government published “Progress report by the ministerial working group on tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers” which announced in Commitment 3 their intention ” to look again at the impact of this legislation and to consult on whether it should be repealed.” read more

DFE seeks consultant to gather community views of law change

The DFE has responded positively to the argument, put by ACERT and NATT+, that it should not rely on on-line consultation methods when gathering the views of hard to reach communities. The Department plans to appoint a “Mobile Families Outreach Contractor” to consult families likely to be affected by the proposal to repeal s444(6) of the 1996 Education Act. Applications must be submitted by noon on Friday 24th August, for a minimum of 20 days up to a maximum of 25 days between 3 September 2012 and 28 October 2012 inclusive. Full details are available on the DFE website. The online consultation is likely to take place over the same period. read more